Korean J Parasitol.  2014 Apr;52(2):197-199.

Two Human Cases of Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense Infection in Korea

  • 1Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu 700-422, Korea. kuku1819@knu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu 700-422, Korea.


Diphyllobothrium latum and Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense are the 2 reported main causes of human diphyllobothriasis in the Republic of Korea. However, the differentiation of these 2 species based on morphologic features alone is difficult. The authors used nucleotide sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene to diagnose Diphyllobothrium spp. Two patients visited the emergency room at Kyungpook National University Hospital on 3 April and 12 April 2013, respectively, with fragments of parasites found while defecating. The parasites were identified as Diphyllobothrium spp. based on morphologic characteristics, and subsequent cox1 gene sequencing showed 99.9% similarity (1,478/1,480 bp) with D. nihonkaiense. Our findings support the hypothesis that D. nihonkaiense is a dominant species in Korea.


Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense; human case; praziquantel; cox1 gene
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